The country strengthens its ability to assess the interruption of transmission of the disease in the country, as recommended by the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization, PAHO / WHO.

 
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O Brasil avança para a eliminação da transmissão da Filariose Linfática


The first national training workshop for trainers on studies for the transmission assessment survey (TAS)  of lymphatic filariasis took place from 11 to 13 March 2014 in the city of Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. A total of 24 national professional were trained: 19 health professionals, who support the actions of the state program of elimination of lymphatic filariasis in the country (PEEFL, Pernanbuco), under the coordination of the State Secretary of Pernambuco (SES) and six professionals from the states of Pará , Bahia, Alagoas and the National Program for the Elimination of FL (PENFL, Brasilia).

The lymphatic filariasis, known as elephantiasis, is a parasitic infection caused by nematodes of the genus Wuchereria and Brugia. In the Region of the Americas it is the only species transmitted by Wuchereria bancrofti, and the most common vector is the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. After years of asymptomatic chronic infection, parasites cause injury to the lymphatic vessels and consequently lymphedema and secondary bacterial infections. Lymphedema causes deformity and severe disability, affecting socially and economically those who have the disease. The mass treatment with diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) plus albendazole, to all individuals living in endemic communities, applied once a year for a period of 5-6 years, has proven to be an effective measure to interrupt the transmission of filariasis lymphatic. The TAS (for its acronym in English "Transmission Assessment Survey") methodology is a tool to allow the chiefs of programs of elimination of lymphatic filariasis, to decide if they can interrupted or should continue the community treatment with  the mass drug administration (DEC + ALB).

Currently, in Brazil there is only one active focus in the state of Pernambuco that could be close to reach the interruption of transmission of the disease, thanks to treatment and monitoring actions implemented. Moreover, in recent years the "SANAR program" of the Health Secretary from Pernambuco, in technical cooperation with PAHO / WHO and with the support of the Ministry of Health form Brazil, intensified actions to combat neglected infectious diseases in the state of Pernambuco, including lymphatic filariasis. Brazil already had success stopping the transmission of lymphatic filariasis in other states (Bahia, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Pará, and Alagoas), and when compiling the evidence that has interrupted the transmission of lymphatic filariasis throughout its territory, may request the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization, PAHO / WHO to verify the elimination of the disease.

It is hoped that in the coming years, the training developed in the country completes the evaluation of the transmission status in the Pernambuco state, to monitor the progress toward the goal of eliminating established in Resolution CD49.R19, adopted by the PAHO Directing Council in October 2009.

The first national workshop was held with the leadership of Pernambuco State Department, the Ministry of Health of Brazil, and with technical and financial support from PAHO / WHO, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Agency for International Development United States (USAID).

Brazil is committed to control and eliminate neglected infectious diseases in the country, and in July 2012 launched the comprehensive plan on strategic actions to control and eliminate EID, including lymphatic filariasis and other neglected infectious diseases such as leprosy, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, trachoma and STH soil borne.

Next April 7, the World Health Day, is celebrated with the theme "small bites, big threats" in reference to vector-borne, including lymphatic filariasis include diseases.

PAHO/WHO, during practice, using the tests to detect antigens of W. bancrofti. Recife (Pernambuco), Brazil, 2014.

PAHO/WHO, delivery of certificates to the participants of the TAS Workshop. Recife (Pernambuco), Brazil, 2014.

PAHO/WHO, TAS Workshop Group, picture of the participants. Recife (Pernambuco), Brazil, 2014.

PAHO/WHO, during practice, using the tests to detect antigens of W. bancrofti. Recife (Pernambuco), Brazil, 2014.

PAHO/WHO, TAS Workshop Group, picture of the participants. Recife (Pernambuco), Brazil, 2014.

Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health
www.paho.org/cde